Barely three months after President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the closure of all land borders in the country, the Federal Government says it has seized over N2.3tn worth of contraband as a result of the intensive joint border patrol by security agencies.
The exercise, code-named Exercise Swift Response, is being coordinated by the Office of the National Security Adviser and the team comprises the Nigeria Customs Service, the Nigeria Immigration Service, the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigerian Army.
The spokesperson for the Joint Border Security Exercise and National Public Relations Officer, Nigeria Customs Service, Joseph Attah, listed the seized items to include guns, ammunition, rice, vehicles, drugs and jerrycans of petrol.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on August 20 ordered a partial closure of Nigeria’s land borders in order to check smuggling of contraband into the country through the neighbouring countries.
But, in an interview with one of our correspondents on Thursday, Attah said the joint border security, consisting of all the agencies working together, had recorded some achievements, while the NCS as a separate entity had recorded some feats as well.
He said, “The worth of the seizures as of October 30, 2019 is N2,309,336,000,880. This is the cumulative sum of the various seizures.”
According to him, some of the items seized are “437,225 jerrycans of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol, 363 vehicles, 32,814 bags of rice as well as several drugs, ammunition and guns.”
He added that 203 illegal migrants and eight traffickers had also been arrested.
The closure of the land borders had drawn the reactions of leaders of some neighbouring countries, including Presidents Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana and Patrice Talon of Benin Republic.
There had been reports that the closure had severely affected the economies of the neighbouring countries, especially Benin Republic.